Monday, February 25, 2013

The Eyre Affair

The Eyre Affair, by Jasper Fforde

Lately I've been wanting to re-read some old favorites, and I picked up The Eyre Affair.  I love the Thursday Next books but haven't re-read them at all, and I'd forgotten a lot!

Thursday is a Special Operations officer in the Literary Fraud division--she tracks down counterfeit Cardenios and the like.  In the alternate Britain she lives in, the Crimean War has been going on for over 100 years, genetic sequencing has allowed everyone to have dodos and thylacines for pets, and literature is a national obsession.  Radical Marlovians firebomb Baconian meetings, thousands of people have changed their names to Percy Shelley or John Milton, that sort of thing.

The super-criminal genius Acheron Hades has stolen both Thursday's Uncle Mycroft and the manuscript of Martin Chuzzlewit.  With Mycroft's invention that allows entry into books, he plans to kill off beloved literary characters until the ransom is paid.  And Jane Eyre is his next victim!

The whole thing is just a barefoot romp through the meadows of literature, history, and general weirdness.  Bibliophiles can't not love it. 

My favorite joke is probably the one where a John Keats gets mugged by a Percy Shelley, who leaves a tract on atheism behind him.  What's yours?


Christine Harding said...

Oh dear, I'm sorry to say I've just relegated this to a pile of books destined for the charity shop. I've had it for several years, and tried and tried to read it, but just couldn't get along with it. I'm obviously missing something!

Jean said...

Hey, no book can please everyone! Just think of how happy someone will be to find it in the charity shop. :)

Rachel Bradford said...

This was one of my favorite books last year. I thought it was creative and hilarious. I've not continued on with the entire series, though, because that's the type of humor I appreciate in small amounts rather than in overload. It's about time I pick up the third book....